Coolant problems?

Home  \  Repairs & Maintenance  \  Coolant problems?

ok so I was driving on the highway and after a while i noticed the coolant gauge was reaching the hot point and the low coolant light came on and the check engine light also so i pulled over and let it cool down for a bit then it was back to normal, but when i went to restart the car it would barely start it took alot of tries but it did start so I was only about 5 minutes from home so i went slow and made it home thankfully and before i got home the coolant gauge was at hot and the low coolant light and check engine light came on again so i left the car overnight to cool down and the next day i could still barely turn the car on and the heater wasn't working right it was blowing out cold air. I added some coolant and the problem was still there so my dad figured it would be the thermostat so we replaced that and now the problem is still there I really dont know what to do anyone have any suggestions?
the car is a 1995 mercury mystique

posted by  fuji

Suggestion #1. Don't you OR your father touch the car or make any decisions about what you THINK needs to be done to it. Based on your description of the situation you have no clue and will do more harm than good.

Suggestion #2. Call a wrecker service and have them tow it to an ASE certified technician, now.

Suggestion #3. Pay him whatever he wants to fix the car... and never open the hood again.

posted by  vwhobo

ok that didn't answer any of my questions seeing as i do not have enough money to tow the car anywheres im just wondering what some people may think could be wrong, and my father changed the thermostat thinking that was one of the problems because it had happened to a car he had before when the heater was blowing cold air, so anyway does anyone have any thought of what could be the problem with the car here? is there a chance that it could be the coolant sensor?

posted by  fuji

You are making wild ass guesses and grasping at straws. The coolant that travels through the heater core bypasses the thermostat, so... If you have no heat the thermostat may be stuck OPEN which we all know would make the engine run too cool, not too hot.

As for your sensor theory, no sensor will cause an engine to run hot. The closest sensor that might under certain circumstances allow an engine to overheat would be the cooling fan switch (in the case of your car the coolant temperature sensor), but... You said it overheated driving down the highway. As we all know, or those of us who pay attention anyway, the cooling fan doesn't need to cycle during highway driving due to sufficient air flow passing through the radiator.

So you want a wild assed educated guess from someone with more experience than patience for people who will dick around and do more damage than good to their car? Well here it goes in two words. Water pump. Of course the more you drive it and cause it to overheat, the more likely it is to be two different words. Head gasket.

There, are you happy now?

posted by  vwhobo

Hi FUJI, the thermostat didn't help. It was an ok guess though because it probably needed replaced anyways. When your heater blows cold air on an engine that is overheating it means that you have lost so much coolant somewhere that there is none left to circulate through your engine, let alone your heater core. The heater core is responsible for transfering heat from your cooling system to the passenger compartment. Therefore, while you were driving down the highway, you lost coolant. Either it has leaked out or your motor is consuming it. (BEFORE STARTING YOUR MOTOR AT THIS POINT, CHECK YOUR OIL LEVEL. IF IT LOOKS WAY OVERFULL OR HAS A MILKY APPEARANCE YOUR COOLANT IS ENTERING YOUR ENGINE AND SERIOUS DAMAGE MAY OCCUR. I.E. YOU COULD BLOW IT UP!) The leaking would be easy to identify if you fill your radiator up, through the radiator cap, not resevior, and let the engine run till it warms up. Turn your heater on and make sure you have warm air. If not this means you have an air pocket (large air bubble) around the water pump therefore the water pump will not pump air through the heater core. Dont let your motor overheat if this is the case, but lightly bump the throttle up and down to try to work it through. On some cars there is a bleeder valve that close to the thermostat housing that will aid you in getting that air out. Once you know the coolant is circulating, and the cap is on the radiator, look for leaks. If there is one, find out where and fix it, probably a hose or waterpump. If there are no leaks so far take it to a shop and have them pressure test it, or you can buy a coolant pressure tester yourself for a somewhat resonable price. If there is still no leaks and yet your car is still consuming coolant, look towards the head gasket. When these break and you consume coolant, you will be able to tell several ways. First, watch for white smoke out your exhaust, or watch for coolant in your oil by pulling the dipstick. If there is coolant in the oil it will look milky and obviously overfull. If there is coolant in the oil, dont run the car until it is fixed cause oil will float on the antifeeze and the oil pump pickup will suck only coolant upon start up which is bad for your bearings. From what you have said, I would have to say your head gasket is bad. You havnt noticed any leaks, yet your car was hard to start in the morning. This hard start and probably poor running after it is started may implicate a dead cylider or two on your engine i.e. your head gaskets blown. (oh, and if the water pump is not ran by the timing belt, make sure that your drive belt is spinning the pump.....im sure it is:). Finally, if you really dont have much knowledge about engines you may not want to tackle a head gasket. They are very difficult and bolts need to be torqued and in the right sequence. Furthermore, the you may have warped the cylider head from overheating it or it may be cracked or the cylider wall may be cracked. These things may best be left to a mechanic. They are nightmare jobs and probably worth paying someone else to fix it. I really hope this helps! Let us know if its a leak or not.k

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Are you sure, I mean really sure that the cause is low coolant? If that's the case explain why even after topping of the cooling system he STILL has an overheating problem. While you're at it explain how you came to all the rest of your conclusions, or should we say assumptions.

How much experience do you have with this car and this engine? Do you even know if it's a 2.0 or a 2.5? Everything you say is a generalization that may or may not apply to his car. You have done an expert job of talking around the fringe of possibilities concerning his dilemma... but provided him with absolutely no useful information. Thank you for mastering the art of non-help.

posted by  vwhobo

LOL, i love this guy already. Has he said anything helpful yet. Cars are complicated and to discuss everything would take a lifetime. FUJI i hope i was clear about everything i have said to you. The reason you may have topped it off and still no heat is possibly because you have drained the coolant somewhere, you had to put more in right? The coolant went somewhere! Rememeber what i said about the air pockets, after coolant has been drained either through a leak or replacing the thermostat, ect. air pockets are common. When you said that you had to add coolant that would mean it was low. You filled the radiator back up and not the overflow when you topped it off right? The heater will work if the heater core is not plugged, the thermostat is OPEN, and the waterpump is pumping only if there is coolant in the engine. VW will only try to make you feel stupid on this site, so disregard his ego and look for his facts. He sometimes appears knowledgeable. As for your engine size, it really doesn't matter, cooling problems are quite generic and trust me ive been doing this as long if not longer than him. I'll keep watching this thread to see if you figure it out. Good luck and its true, there are lots of possibilities out there and these may only get you started, but at least your going somewhere.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Do ya think so Twinkie? Have you been ASE certified for almost 30 years? CMAT for over half of that? Anytime you want to go head to head with experience or certifications or education let me know Sweetie. I've read enough of your crap to say with certainty you wouldn't make it as a LOF boy at one of my shops.

posted by  vwhobo

Cmon now Hobo, he knows what hes talking about. Its the AIR POCKETS! I'd hire him as my Mechanic anytime :laughing: .

posted by  DSMer

Sounds like a fuel pump, This car has an electric pump and takes about 2 hours to change, The pump is located on the drivers side top front of the engine.

posted by  barretire

im no expert but if you are loosing coolent and you are not seeing it on the ground anywhere then you may either have a blown headgasket a cracked head or a bad freeze out plug..........but who am i there is usually one in between the transmission and motor and if it goes out it will never leak out side of the tranny so you wouldnt know but theres a good possibility it coild be a cracked head or something............sae certified mechanic and a good shop should clear up your prob..........

posted by  dudsey

I have a 1990 Pontiac 6000 that I have found a slow leak at the fitting going into the block, also a head gasket leak that produces the same thing you are talking about. It does not loose compression, runs great, gets good mileage, no problem starting, etc. I performed basic maintenance-the light sometimes comes on and most of the time it does not-so, go figure. I am not keeping the car, but am interested in replacing the fitting at the block, and am in need of a schematic diagram for engine cooling if you know of a site that has this for free.

posted by  Ibuild

VWHobo, have you ever offered any advice without cutting someone to pieces ? I mean, just because you know cars, do you think you are worshiped as a god or something ? No advice would be better than an ass ripping from the likes of you. Every post you make you do the same crap. First thought that comes to mind is a spoiled brat. These forums are for people to ask for help, correct ? You get pissed when people ask, according to you, "dumb" questions. If these people knew what the heck they were talking about, and were all mechanics, this form would be dead in the water and not used. There would be no need for questions to be asked. If you only want people with mechanic skills and knowlege to post here, then set rules and ask for proof of training to be able to log in. Stop running an "open" forum. I think hi.alt.perform did an outstanding job at offering all the help he possibly could. You, once again, made an ass of yourself.

posted by  Gater

Your Message